Rebounding after taking a break from diabetes

I have had type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 42 years and YES it’s been a road trip of ups and downs. Some of you might remember my previous blog where I wrote about growing up and being pregnant with T1D. When I was first diagnosed, there was insulin, syringes and Clinitest: a test that required people with diabetes to pee in a cup, and with a dropper, introduce a few drops of urine and water into a glass test tube, then drop in a pill that would make smoke and change color. Good times! I am sure glad technology has changed since those days. And while it is not “easy” today, it is better than the “old days.”

I received my first blood glucose meter when I was 25 years-old, 15 years after being diagnosed with diabetes. 10 years later, I got my first insulin pump. With a meter and a pump I finally had tools to achieve my target goal of an A1c between 5.9-6.5%. I was testing at least 10 times a day and working hard to balance it all: insulin, carbs and exercise.  It was all working well and like clockwork. I was testing, analyzing, and taking action. Then I’d repeat. But then something happened and I hit a wall. This is the metaphor that endurance athletes use when they experience a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Having diabetes feels like an endurance sport and I hit my wall.

After seeing my endocrinologist recently, I realized that I have been on “a break from diabetes.” I had not been testing, analyzing, and taking action the way I did before. I don’t remember a recent day when I tested more than twice or when I analyzed my data to determine the best course of action. As a certified diabetes educator (CDE), I have worked with many people living with diabetes, and have come to accept that this happens to the best of us. Managing diabetes is a full-time job and people can become exhausted. However, the next step is figuring out how to get back into my previous routine.

It’s time to refresh and reboot!  At my last endocrinology appointment, my A1c was 7.5%. For me personally, that is unheard of!  I was so shocked and disappointed that I knew that I needed to take action. I am now in the process of getting a new CGM, one that I have test-driven and know does not irritate my skin.  This will be the “new toy” in my world that will help me get back on track. In addition, I am re-committing to reviewing my blood glucose data on the Glooko platform at least once a week.  I am also committed to walking 10,000 steps a day and going to the gym 3-4 times a week. This was my routine before my “break from diabetes.” I am looking forward to getting back on track.

For many people living with diabetes, this realization and act of getting back into the groove is not easy. For me, I enjoy the challenge and often think of my friends, family, co-workers at Glooko, and other people with diabetes that I know who look to me for support. For those of you still challenged, I recommend looking within and figuring out what or who is important in your life. What motivates you? We are all different with our own personal journey but  there is network of support out there for you. It could be friends, family, coworkers, or the diabetes online community or local diabetes support group. Remember to lean on them when you need it!

**Please stayed tuned for my update on my rebounding success in June 2018**

Roni Pagano

Roni Pagano is an RD CDE living with T1D and works for Glooko as the East Coast Clinical Uploading Solutions Sales Representative. During her spare time, she likes to take her two dogs to the dog park, and sip an iced coffee on the beach.